I recently had the dubious pleasure of reading and posting on the blog of a Methodist Minister, who enthusiastically supports the Methodist Church’s official policy of boycotting Jewish settlements. The Church has taken the view that, apparently, Jews of Judea and Samaria are so evil, so heinous, that only they, of all peoples, governments and states on this earth, warrant a boycott. Not Hamas, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Fatah or Syria.
Just those Jews of Judea and Samaria.
The most distinguishing features of this blog were steadfast refusals to address facts in any detail, and a refusal to be honest with oneself.
Repeated requests for a substantive response as to why the Jews of Judea and Samaria are treated to this double standard, which is not applied to the rest of the world, were simply met with flat denials without any further elucidation.
Posters who dealt with the history of the region (history which did not vilify Israel) were told that they were wrong, without any substantive reason given (despite repeated invitations to do so). I was told that the boycott was not exclusive, as apparently Zimbabwe was boycotted as well. Until it transpired with my own research that this wasn’t true, and that there was no such boycott of Zimbabwe.
Posts addressing the legality of the settlements were brushed aside without any detailed discussion. The fact that there is only one locality in the Middle East where the Christian population is growing – Israel – was met with a collective shrug of indifference.
And to top it all, Ben White made an appearance, a man who shares a platform with the visceral and irrational hatred of Azzam Tamimi;
For more about Mr White, see here:
Despite protestations from the blog’s author that the Church is only boycotting settlements, not Israel, I asked him whether he disagreed with Mr White, who does indeed advocate a boycott of Israel. No reply. But he did tell me that he holds Mr White in the “highest regard”.
Meanwhile, at least three of my posts were censored – not for foul language or abusive comments you understand. It appears that I simply wasn’t “on message”. Merely posting the JC’s link that appears above was censored.
This isn’t an honest debate. It isn’t honest to claim Israel isn’t being singled out, when it patently is. It isn’t honest to disengage from any detailed discussion, whether legal or historical, which may undermine the “accepted” message.
And it isn’t honest to claim that the complaint from Jews is that all criticism of Israel is anti-Semitic. Of course it isn’t.
But exclusive boycotts are anti-Semitic. And until the Church comes to terms with that, Jewish - Methodist relations are effectively dead.
And rightly so.